Ontario Provides Additional Funding to Keep Schools SafePublished on February 01, 2021
Ontario is providing an additional $381 million in funding to school boards through the Safe Return to Class Fund. The money will be used to further protect students and staff and support online as well as in-person learning.
The first installment of the funding, as announced on August 26, 2020, is being used to support priority provincial initiatives related to the safe reopening of schools.
The second installment of this funding will be allocated as follows:
- $65 million for health and safety costs, such as additional staffing and or board-funded or transportation-related personal protective equipment;
- $50 million for additional investments in portable HEPA filters and other immediate options to optimize air quality and ventilation in schools;
- $5 million to support safe and secure student transportation by addressing cost pressures relating to COVID-19;
- $80 million for devices such as laptops and tablets to support students in remote learning;
- $62 million to support learning gaps and improve math and reading programs, special education and mental health programming, and supports for underserved students;
- $60 million to support improved online learning, including developing digital course content and technological supports;
- $33 million set aside for expanded testing and additional supports for high priority areas;
- $10 million to support the Student Nutrition Program to reach remote learners and address COVID-19 delivery challenges;
- $10 million to continue to support the mental health of all students and support the implementation of the new School Mental Health Ontario Action Kit and funding for Kids Help Phone; and
- $6 million in focused funding for equity initiatives, such as those supporting Black, racialized students, Indigenous students and students with special education needs.